987. Upon every beast of the earth. That this signifies over the cupidities of the lower mind, is evident from the signification of "beasts" in the Word, where they signify either affections or cupidities, affections of good being signified by gentle, useful, and clean beasts; and affections of evil, or cupidities, by those that are fierce, useless, and unclean (concerning which see above, n. 45, 46, 142, 143, 246, 776). Here, as cupidities are signified, they are called "beasts of the earth" not beasts of the field. With regard to the rule of the regenerate man over cupidities, it is to be known that those are in the greatest error, and are by no means the regenerate, who believe that they can of themselves rule over evils. For man is nothing but evil; he is a mass of evils; all his will being merely evil; which is what is said in the preceding chapter (8:21): that "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." It has been shown me by living experience that a man and a spirit, even an angel, in himself regarded, that is, as to all that is his own, is but vilest excrement; and that left to himself he breathes nothing but hatred, revenge, cruelty, and most foul adultery.
 These things are his own; these are his will; as must also be evident to everyone if he reflects, merely from this, that man when born is, among all wild animals and beasts, the vilest creature living. And when he grows up and becomes his own master, if not hindered by outward bonds of the law, and bonds which he imposes on himself for the purpose of gaining great honor and wealth, he would rush into every crime, and not rest until he had subjugated all in the universe, and raked together the wealth of all in the universe; nor would he spare any but those who submitted to be his humble servants. Such is the nature of every man, although those are unaware of it who are powerless and to whom such attempts are impossible, and also those who are in the bonds above mentioned. But let the possibility and power be given, and the bonds be relaxed, and they would rush on to the extent of their ability. Wild animals never show such a nature. They are born into a certain order of their nature. Those which are fierce and rapacious inflict injury on other creatures, but only in self-defense; and their devouring other animals is to allay their hunger, and when this is allayed they do harm to none. But it is altogether different with man. From all this it is evident what is the nature of man's Own and will.
 Since man is such mere evil and excrement, it is evident that he can never of himself rule over evil. It is an utter contradiction for evil to be able to rule over evil, and not only over evil, but also over hell; for every man is in communication through evil spirits with hell, and thereby the evil in him is excited. From all this everyone may know, and he who has a sound mind may conclude, that the Lord alone rules over evil in man and over hell with him. In order that the evil in man may be subjugated, that is, hell, which strives every moment to rush in upon him and destroy him forever, man is regenerated by the Lord and endowed with a new will, which is conscience, through which the Lord alone performs all good. These are points of faith: that man is nothing but evil; and that all good is from the Lord. They are therefore not only known by man, but also acknowledged and believed; and if he does not so acknowledge and believe in the life of the body, it is shown him to the life in the life to come.